It turns out it takes about 14 years for things to return to normalcy after a substantial crisis.
For the first time in 14 years, I didn’t approach this week with the same level of dread I have for over a decade. The new World Trade Center even stands, in my mind and my heart, as a proud new icon for our city, a beautiful beacon to be proud of.
And yet, I have not made it back there in 14 years. Close but never so close as to be there. But this year may be the year when this part of town, this part of time, gets reconnected into my life.
I have a 10 year old son and talking about 9/11 with him is talking about a history that predates his birth. To him, 9/11 is no more tragic or personal than Pearl Harbor or the Civil War. And to many people around me, that is just the case.
9/11, a date that is personal in so many ways and public in a few. But the interesting thing is that to millennials, it is just something that happened while they were young, not something as scarring as it was to Generation X, that demographic gap between baby boomers and millennials, that blip no one in the media ever cared much about.
I found myself in an airport yesterday and had to admit some level of concern about being in the air on 9/11. Not a rational thing but rather the ghost of a scar etched in my mind, a hole forever burnt by flying objects and burning towers. But beyond that, it was a nice day. Blue skies, warm but not too warm, just as it was 14 years ago.
Carlos Dominguez, Mark Ellis, Melissa Vincent, Michael DiPasquale, Cynthia Giugliano, Jeremy Glick, David Halderman, Steve Weinberg, Gerard Jean Baptiste, Tom McCann, David Vera.
This post is part of a continuing series in which I remember those I knew who were lost on that day. Here are the previous years: 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, and 2002. For context, you might want to read The day after, which is about as raw as one can get about that day as I wrote that piece less than 36 hours after the first plane hit. This is the longest series I’ve ever written and I expect to continue yearly until I can no longer write.